San Daniele del Carso, Stanjel
Sunday April 13, 2014
Stanjel, one of the oldest towns in the Carso. It’s origins as a settlement can be traced back to the iron age. The Romans also had a settlement here and it was known for its splendid view but also because from this point the Romans had control of the whole valley form the Carso to la Valle del Vipaco-Vipavska Dolina. In medieval times dating back to 1402, the town was under the control of Gorizia and was an important commercial centre. It then came under the control of the Austrians and was an important military point both for the wars against the Venezians and against the invasion of the Turks. The town was walled in around 1500, again as protection against the invading Turks. From the 16th to the 19th century the castle was the home of the Cobenzi lords. During the first world war the Austrians had a base and hospital here. The town and walls were partially destroyed in the second world war as it was a partigiano-partisan military base. Restoration work on the castle and the church has been ongoing since the 1960’s.
You can feel the medieval history in the arched entrance way to the walled city, the stone walls, the turrets, the winding streets. This entrance brings you to a small piazza which would have been the courtyard I think of the castle. Tables are scattered around and musicians are putting away their instruments as a concert is just over. We have a caffe at the bar and then walk through the little town alongside the town walls. People do live here and some of the homes are nicely stuccoed, two story buildings with long porches and wooden railings on the top level.
The view from the garden of the valley is stunning, falling below and then rising again on the horizon. The Wisteria is in full bloom as are the lilacs and a ***yellow flowering tree. The air is a mixture of all these sweet flower fragrances.